The Best Christmas Ever
A Play in One Act
By Stephen Phifer
Bob Mason is a good man, respected in the community. He hosts a 3-hour call-in show on one of the leading radio stations in the city. His show and his station is in the middle of a serious ratings battle with a new station that has shifted from rock music to a talk format, a much different format that features foul language and morally objectionable material. Although Bob is not a follower of Christ, He is determined to keep community standards high. He on-air engineer, Tom Shale, is a skillful professional who is a Christ-follower. He and Bob feature the contrast between Tom’s conservatism and Bob’s liberalism in their on-air banter.
Personally, Bob’s life is coming apart. His two teenaged kids are in trouble at school. His wife is neglected and a predatory female at the radio station is after him. His drinking is out of control. Secretly, Tom’s wife has defied Bob’s rule against personal relationships among co-workers and has reached out to Tom’s family. Unknown to Bob, his family has started praying with Tom’s wife on her visits.
On Christmas week the Monday-Thursday afternoon shows will feature “expert” witnesses on the various secular approaches to the season. On Friday the phones are open for the people to imagine the perfect Christmas. That show will change Bob’s life forever.
Cast of Characters
“Mr. Sunshine,” a radio personality of sardonic wit. He hosts a call-in talk show on WTLK Talk Radio 1360. He has all the answers, usually witty ones, on the air but few in his own life. His public life is doing well but his private life is falling apart. Bob is headed for a drinking problem as he strives to cope with competition from talk show hosts who insist on broadcasting in what he considers to be poor taste.
On-air sidekick and chief engineer for the Bob Mason Show. He is a professional and a true friend, though Bob Mason has strict rules against friendships in the work place. He knows both sides of Bob Mason, the driven professional and the vulnerable, troubled man. Unlike Bob, Tom has real answers to the questions of life.
Bob’s wife. She suffers from depression and fears she is disconnecting from her husband and children. He insists that she stay at home even though the children are in school and she would like to work. She listens to Bob’s show every afternoon. Her job is to help Bob as a member of his audience.
Tom’s wife, a teacher. She is a true friend to Liz and is the only one who can reach her in her depression.
Teenage daughter of Bob and Liz. She is a victim of her parents’ dysfunction. She is on a desperate search for the meaning of her life.
Middle-school age son of Bob and Liz. He needs his dad and mom, too, but has not had them. He is getting desperate also.
An un-named preacher who calls in frequently to the Bob Mason show. He is a true man of God who has earned Bob’s respect for his honesty and humility. He gives wise counsel to Bob on the air. Bob is fascinated by him and, untrue to his on- air personality, doesn’t cut him off. The Parson’s demeanor has reached Bob.
Salesperson for WTLK, has a thing for Bob. She offers a completely different set of answers.
Luther Bilk* Owner of the Santa Store at TowneEast Mall. Guest on Monday’s program; thinks Christmas needs to be more commercial.
Dr. Ruth Bennett* Psychiatrist, expert on “Christmas Blues”, guest on Tuesday’s show.
Rev. Wiley Wilson* Liberal pastor, does not believe the Christmas story is necessarily true; guest on Wednesday’s program.
Jeanette Warren* Attorney with the local ACFA (American Civic Freedoms Association); guest on Thursday’s show, seeks to secularize Christmas in public life, especially commercial airways.
An amazing variety of citizens who call in to Bob’s show with their opinions. These “calls” are made from an off-stage microphone.
*These actors can come from the same group of character actors who do these unseen callers.
This play is about the real story of Christmas, Christ as the reality of the season. These things are clearly presented in stark contrast to contemporary secular approaches. It also demonstrates how a good person still needs Jesus to have the peace Christmas offers.
This play was designed to me done in limited space requiring a split stage with the radio studio on one side and the Mason home on the other. The music for this play is not integrated into the story. The characters do not sing.
These are the music options:
- Use only recorded music as part of the radio programs.
- Use live music with a small ensemble.
- Use a choir as the ensemble off stage.
- The music is taken from the choir collection, “When It’s Christmastime” by Geron Davis
The running time for “The Best Christmas Ever” is a little more than an hour.
The rights are $200 for the first year plus $50 royalty for each performance. Subsequent years require only the $50 royalty for each performance. The music, orchestrations and/or soundtracks should be purchased from the publishers at regular rates.
The Best Christmas Ever
I have written so many Bible-times plays that I wanted to write a contemporary story. I was commissioned by a local church to write this and I enjoyed their production of it. Several churches have found this work to be useful. It is a fresh approach to the story and the truth of Christmas. It is also a production within reach of a talented church production with limited resources.
“I think this family is about to have the best Christmas ever!” The Parson
Stephen Phifer, Author
For more information on obtaining the rights to this play or for a portion of the script to read:
- by phone: (863) 512-3671
- by snail mail: 1400 Laurel Branch Place, Bartow, FL 33830 or
- by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved